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Significant Indian Paintings Significant Indian Paintings UNKNOWN ARTIST (Portrait of an Indian man)
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Acquired by the collector, in the mid-1990s, from a flea market in London
The portrait is very powerful in terms of its psychological distinction. The subject does not belong to any aristocratic or upper class. He seems to be a helping hand in some capacity. The artist seems to have been fascinated by the facial expression and has selected him as a case of face study. It is a very powerful expression of sadness and tiredness of the protagonist. There is wistfulness in the unfocused gaze of the sitter which gives the impression of being scared to look directly into anything. There is a feel of dejection that life’s circumstances may have led to. The artist seems to be empathizing with the subject and has done justice to the character. The work compels the gaze of the viewer to look at it more intently.
The artist has concentrated very closely on the details of the face and intentionally avoided doing the same in the turban as well as his garb so as not to take away from the focus on the face. The sunken eyes which are a little red, gaze out into hopeless oblivion. The mouth is firmly closed as if being cautious .The broad nose is the facial feature of a native of a rural area.